For some of you, the idea of living your faith at work is brand new. It’s intriguing, thought provoking, maybe even exciting. For others, closing the gap between your faith and work is a way of life, and you rightfully seek constant encouragement and ideas on how to live it each day. Wherever you are in your journey today, consider these five questions:
- Do you want your work to truly matter?
- Do you want to grow in your career?
- Do you want to have influence through your work?
- Do you want your family and friends to be proud of the work that you do?
- Do you want God to be proud of the work that you do?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider this: the way you do your work is crucial. Excellence, one of the 7 Pillars of Faith and Work, is an essential element of saying yes to these five questions!
If you want a picture-perfect example of excellence at work, consider Daniel your go-to biblical leader. Daniel was selected at an early age, along with a number of other young Israelites, to be trained to lead in the king of Babylon’s service. At the end of his training, Daniel’s potential boss (Nebuchadnezzar) interviewed all of the prospective Israelite leaders. The outcome?
The king found none of them equal to Daniel (and his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego). In fact, the king found Daniel and his friends to be “10 times better” than all those serving the king in his entire kingdom!
Let’s consider “10 times better” to be a powerful metaphor for excellence in our work. Not that we literally need to be 10 times better than other coworkers, but how do we do our work in such a way that we honor God first and foremost; and be a salt-and-light example to others in the process?
10 times better requires:
- Integrity – have the wisdom and courage to do what is right every time. Proverbs 10:9 says: whoever walks in integrity, walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
- Attitude – work with all of your heart. Colossians 3:23-24 states: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
- Skill – seek to understand your work completely and use that understanding to produce excellent work. Proverbs 22:29 declares: Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.
- Work ethic – a timely focus on executing needed outcomes. Proverbs 24:33-34: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
- Striving for Excellence at Work – Tim Yatsko, EVP Global Sourcing, Walmart
- Excellence from the Heart– Todd Simmons, CEO, Simmons Foods
- Surpassing the Ordinary – Tom Frase, Pastor